More than 30 Ukrainian patient organizations of different types of diseases addressed the acting President of Ukraine and the Chairman of Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Turchynov, the Prime Minister Arsenii Yatsenyuk, with the demand not to save money on the health of Ukrainians. They argue that the Government is gradually facilitating deaths of patients and is on the edge of causing medical disaster in Ukraine by its decisions.
“Last week politicians have stolen from patients money for treatment, that have been incorporated in raising the excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol. Excise taxes have been raised, however money will not be spent on treatment, — comments Dmytro Sherembei, Chairman of Charitable Foundation Patients of Ukraine. — They had tricked all of us, as the excise taxes have been raised the next day after we had held great action in front of the Parliament Excise Taxes Save Lives! and sounded our statements in Parliament. Our draft law that envisages transfer of money raised from excise taxes to cover the treatment budget deficit that equals 3,1 bln UAH, had been ignored. We will not ignore this and will immediately mobilize all Ukrainian patients to fight for our right to life, as cutting the budget for oncological, diabetes, hepatitis patient means death for the later”, — he adds.
In their letter patients’ organizations note, that manipulation by power is not acceptable, as majority of Ukrainians had supported the raise of excise tax, thinking that significant part of these funds will be used for the needs of sick, and not go to the budget’s general fund.
“On April 3 the Minister of Finance reported that increase of excise taxes is a tool in order to prevent the financial disaster. However if we will not transfer money today for the drugs of HIV-positive people, it will be the beginning of a humanitarian disaster, the plan to cause deaths in Ukraine” — commented Volodymyr Zhovtyak, the Chairman of the Coordinating Council of the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. Huge opposition of the patient community caused the additional 7% VAT on supply of drugs, starting April 1. “It will be a last nail to the coffin of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, — Hanna Hopko, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Special Hospital for Children OKHMADYT shares her deep concern. — Our government and MPs have a miraculous logic, according to which excise taxes on vodka and wine will be raised only starting from September 1, but the excise taxes on drugs had already been raised — starting from April 1. This is the best reflection of the sad fact that interests of large alcohol corporations, who have been given a reprieve, are the priority, but unfortunately not protection of Ukrainian ill citizens that cannot afford treatment.”
In their open letter patients demand to adopt amendments to the State Budget and redistribute the part of the funds gathered from excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco to finance those who are deadly ill and to cancel the 7% VAT on support of the drugs. According to their calculations, every day in Ukraine 1607 people die due to the lack of drugs, which is almost 600 000 Ukrainians a year, and these lives could be saved if the patients’ suggestions are supported.
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